Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

  • Announcements

    • Rick

      1st Please Post Your Fishing Report - Then Join the NEW - Private Fishing Report Clubs   01/24/2018

      Private Fishing Report Clubs - Click Here - Post Your Fishing Report Before Joining
      1st, be sure you post a fishing report in the forums, then ask to join after you post a fishing report in your area forum. The Private Fishing Report Clubs are where folks can share private fishing information with club members who have proven they know what's going on. Fishing Report Clubs Link also in Menu above. Apply to become a member today, while it's still easy. 
  • RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  
Deitz Dittrich

Early Season Smallmouth River Flies...

Recommended Posts

Deitz Dittrich

Ok guys... I have a cabin just off the St.Croix River north of the HWY 70 bridge. I am getting one of them inflatable pontoon boat things and plan on hitting the river once season is open. I got the itch real bad. I know once the water warms that topwater will probably be the way to go, but I doubt that will be the best plan early season.

So, a little help for a few ideas would be nice. Some kind of streamer?.. Or would I be better off going with some kind of small mepps spinner and spinning tackle?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
turiprap

What's a Mepps spinner? wink.gif Seriously, this is a question that has intrigued me for some time. I usually fish pretty hard for trout through June and then switch to smallies in July. I enjoy smallmouth fishing so much that I'd like to stretch the season a little. It seems to me that a minnow-imitating streamer pattern would be a good bet. I fish a lot of crayfish imitations later in the year, but you'd think they're population would be down in the spring and early summer. Someone with a real track record of catching these fish earlier in the open season told me that streamer patterns fished off creek mouths can be effective because many species of minnows run up creeks to spawn, producing a concentration of prey at the confluence of creek and river.

It's hard to top a Clouser minnow, but I've tied some simple patterns with EP Fibers that I'm eager to try, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WxGuy

You're right about the clouser. They are a great smallie fly, but like you I typically don't go looking for smallmouth until mid-summer. I really enjoy fishing a weighted clouser using Holschlag's "crawfish hop" technique. You cast upstream at about a 30-45 degree angle, let the clouser sink, let the line belly out with the current (unless you're in some really fast current), and give occasional strips to give your clouser the "hop".

In the early season however, it seems that I always hook up with some surprise smallmouth when fishing for trout in April and May using a dark wooly bugger. FWIW.

Good luck Dietz! Let us know how you fare... smile.gif

Randy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RickyBobby

Deitz,

If fly gear is the way you decide to go, clousers are consistent producers. Bead-head wooly buggers size 2 or 4 are also pretty consistent. The bead head provides all the weight that you'll need for typical rifles and runs on the Upper St. Croix, and also adds a little flash. I've also had success with a steelhead fly (not sure of the name) that looks like a bead-head wooly bugger except it has a cone-shaped head and has rubber legs coming out of the body.

If you haven't made a purchase yet, check out sit-on-top kayaks for fishing the river. They track very well and are very manueverable in current, and depending on the model you buy, are very stable. The deck on a sit-on-top allows for easy customization (rod holders, tackle storage, etc.). Sit-on-tops, unlike standard kayaks, are easy to get in and out of, and they also allow you to hang your legs over the side and straddle the kayak while casting which gets you a little higher and makes casting in all directions possible. Mine has a high-back seat that allows me to totally lean back with full back support while paddling. It's also stable enough that I can hang both my legs over the same side of the kayak (side-saddle) and cast without taking a swim. I've used mine on the Mississippi and under normally flow conditions paddling up stream is definitely possible.

Fly fishing for smallies ROCKS!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DEADhead

I wouldn't be afraid to fish crawfish patterns early season. You might need to fish them real heavy and slow though, as their metabloism will be be slow due to the cold water temps. They're there during the spring, just not real active enough to be wandering out and get caught off guard by a smallie. When fishing dark or crawfish patterns, I've always had to fish them slow and even let the fly sit for a while on the bottom before the next strip, to be the most effective. Sometimes patience can be hard when fishing in this manner, but it pays off.

No matter what time of year or the water conditions, a clouser minnow will be hard to beat. Fishing stream mouths during the tail end of the spring high flows should be productive. Warmer water temps will bring the shiner/baitfish run up those streams. Bead head buggers are nicer in calmer water because the marabou will provide a lot of movement in the water. Bunny flies are also effective for smallies.

I'v been excited to get out for smallies too (since there are not many trout streams around DL), unfortunately the season opens later down here.

As far as specific patterns are concerned, does anyone have a quick crawfish pattern that they like for smallies? I tied up a few crawfish patterns this weekend, and was looking for a quick simple pattern, that is still realistic enough to resemble a crawfish and its movements underwater. Is a wooly bugger the easiest imitation? I've been tying the rabbit strip crawfish, since I like the way the rabbit moves underwater. I tied a black hourglass head in the rear so the fly will ride hook up and and tail up. Whenever I've seen a crawfish flee, they always scoot backwards with their head down and tail up. I tied on a chenille body, with saddle hackle palmered, and a latex back and tail, wrapped in wire. I tied a bunch with silicone sili legs for antennae and legs, but that is very time consuming. I tied some with just the silicone antennae and the hackle should be able to replicate the legs. Any suggestions? I have plenty of buggers and would like to some other alternative patterns to use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Deitz Dittrich

Thanks everyone for the great advice... You guys really talked over my head, But I am looking up all the names you put up.

Quote:

If you haven't made a purchase yet, check out sit-on-top kayaks for fishing the river.


I am a bit of a clutz and the sit on top kayaks kind of scared me for that reason.. I would hate to dump and loose a rod and some gear.. hence why I thought of going with one of them pontoon floats. No, I have not bought it yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RickyBobby

Dumping a kayak is always a possibility. Most kayak fishermen install tie down kleats throughout the deck and leash all tackle, extra rods, etc. to the deck in case of a spill. Most of the kayaks designed for fishing have at least one water tight storage hatch for storing cameras, wallets, lunch...... The pontoon boats are more stable, but the speed and manueverability that kayaks offer are a definite plus, especially in current. When fishing a river with my kayak, I'll usually drift a section of shoreline or a run, and when i get to the bottom, I can quickly paddle back to the top and re-drift. This would be a little more work with a pontoon boat. Getting directly across river without missing any shoreline is also easier.

I would definitely give them a look. There are alot of different designs that emphasize different features. Some are designed for speed, but are less stable. Some are wider and more stable, but sacrifice speed and tracking. I've seen advertisements that show people standing and fishing from their sit-on-tops. Outriggers attached to the side of a kayak are an accessory that would make capsizing almost impossible.

If you're curious about them, go to kayakfishingstuff.com. They have a good photo gallery that shows how people have customized their kayaks for fishing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JP Z

Deitz,

I've used the Pontoons, and they are very nice for fishing in. Even in rivers, sure it may not be as fast, but hey get one of them. Then if you really enjoy this style of fishing move up to a kayak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  



  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Knowknot
      Great video Curt, for as much of it that I could see. Keep up the good work, and one question, Are there any live emerald shiners around the Baudette area to be had, or just frozen ones?
    • eyeguy 54
      Its a little stiffer than my titanium spring boober and much more sensitive.  I like it  better than the 27 inch ul ticklestick. Only used 3 and 4 mm jigs so far. Thumbs up from me. 
    • Troy Smutka
      2/18/18     Got out on an area lake an hour before sunrise Saturday. Got a bunch of crappies until they slowed about 9 am. Most between 9.5 and 11 inches. Sunfish started biting about sunrise and bit all morning. Half of them were 8 to 8.5 inches. Most of the rest were 7 to 7.5 inches. Kept two meals of fish--released the rest. 1/32 ounce VMC Tungsten Tubbies tipped with a single wax worm or two red Eurolarvae fished just above some weeds in thirteen feet of water caught fish after fish. Lots of good ice on area lakes. Even though walleyes and pike close in just over a week and wheel houses can't stay out unattended soon, still a lot of good ice fishing for panfish to come. Will have plenty of ice for a while, so get out and enjoy the peace and quiet and fast crappie and sunfish action that March will bring. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.
    • IceHawk
      Had a chance to rub shoulders and fish with some of the ice team guys today. Great bunch of guys we had some good laughs and of course discussed plenty about fishing. Even shared a few hotspots. The hands on they give the people that sign up for this event is absolutely amazeing! From hands on to tips on everything to do to make your day on the ice way more productive. From what I witnessed it would be well worth the investment to sign up for one of there events , if you are new to fishing or heck even a seasoned angler.  Fished with one guy from Nebraska said he has done 5 of these events and has enjoyed everyone of them.  Fun day for sure 
    • AlwaysFishing23
      Royce, how’s the sensitivity Is the tip soft like a tickle stick and how’s quality seem? About same price as a tickle stick I see may have to try one for next season. If It passes with flying colors do you it must be good! Tough day for me not much happening went from about 8-29 FOW and just nothing. Found perch in about 19 but even they seemed finicky and would only hit the dead stick. A bit windy on the lake today to!
    • The Chemist
      Yes that would be the one. A friend of mine sent it to me. The guy who got it is a friend of his nephew. 
    • The Chemist
      So that explains the traffic and also the one where they were shooting video of what appeared to be about a drill type auger. Did drive by an ice team truck on the way out also.
    • The Chemist
      The warmer weather has brought alot of people out to the area. We are waiting for the later bite. Most are setup in shallowet water. Haven't marked fish yet but tendto see them at sunset.    Be careful with all the holes being drilled! I found one that was covered back in, got my shin, luckily not my ankle.
    • eyeguy 54
      Started out in 26 feet this morning and had 5 dandy crappies in 15 minutes then it was over. moved a mile and found a few dandy gills in 16 feet. And a couple bass.  Day 2 with the new rods and liking them more. 
    • monstermoose78
      I would fish them trees
  • Share & Have Fun